QUITO – A bus carrying travelers from Colombia and Venezuela crashed in Ecuador on Tuesday, killing 24 people and injuring 22 others, according to the Quito Fire Department.
The bus was traveling to Quito when it hit a car along a stretch known as “Deadman’s curve” on the Pifo-Papallacta Road near the capital at about 3:00 local time (0900GMT), authorities said.
The Colombia-registered bus apparently suffered a brake failure, then crashed into the car and rolled over several times, killing at least 24 people and striking three houses before coming to a stop, officials said.
Photos of the accident showed the mangled bus lying on its side, with debris strewn along the road.
National Police officer Roberto Padilla said the majority of the passengers were Colombians, but the toll included some Venezuelans as well. At least three of the four passengers in the car, who included two children, were killed.
An investigation is on, officials said, as they spent the early morning combing through the bus and removing victims.
The bus, carrying 38 passengers, belonged to an international tourism company, Cootrans Especiales del Oriente, El Comercio newspaper said.
The driver of the bus, who has been admitted to hospital, was identified as Colombian national Cristian Andres Parra Silva.
According to the watchdog group Justicia Vial, an average of seven people are killed and some 80 injured each day in traffic accidents in Ecuador. Of these accidents, 95 percent are due to human error.